You want to make sure to have a good balance of green (fresh) and brown (dry, paper, woody) material, stacked like a layer cake, being sure to break up any clumped material. Do not add meat or anything that has been with meat. If you can get a bucket of finished compost and some that is still in the process of breaking down (make sure it’s from a healthy compost), it will really help adding it to a new compost heap, as it already contains the beneficial bacteria needed to start breaking down the materials in your pile. You don’t want it to be too wet or too dry either. I keep mine covered with a tarp and turn it regularly. I have a very large pile so, I shift the complete compost out in the fall and the spring to add to the garden and raised beds. Completed compost will have a rich earthy smell. This picture is my compost pile now after adding some new material and turning what I could with a pitchfork. The part on the right will begin what will be ready in the fall and the part of the left is what I need to shift for this season. Now, I just need a few days that are not windy, rainy or snowy, lol.